Imagine being able to allow multiple users to operate and access a 3D printer and networking to it to create and print designs. AstroPrint is an open source cloud platform to do just that – manage your 3D printers. AstroPrint published trends of their user breakdown and it shows some interesting facts about the most popular 3D printers in use on their platform.
In May 2016, their users clocked in over 186,000 hours of print time! That’s a lot of 3D printing and a lot of data that we can take a look at. Let’s see what they show about some of the most popular 3D printers used on their site.
Most Popular 3D Printers By Percentage Of Users
We see some common names in this group. The top spot goes to Printrbot with their Simple Metal Printrbot at just over 8.5% of AstroPrint users. The next closest is the Creator Pro Flash Forge at just under 7%. Not much of a surprise as both are a couple of the most regularly researched 3D printers on this site.
The AirWolf 3D HD2X takes the third spot. In fact, AirWolf printers occupy 4 of the top 10. This really demonstrates the company’s strong line of products (which we’ll see more proof of down below).
The only other company with multiple spots on the list is Makerbot, with their Replicator 1 Dual, at number 8, and Replicator 2, at number 5. The list is rounded out with WanHao’s Duplicator i3 at number 9, and SeeMeCNC’s Rostock MAX v2 at the 10 spot.
While we see new companies and products come out all the time, it’s interesting to see that the industry is coalescing around some top brands and models. As time goes on, it will be more difficult for new brands to compete without offering some great value.
Popular 3d Printers With Most Print Time
Just because a lot of people have a printer doesn’t mean that it’s put to use more than any others. The Airwolf AW3D HDR, despite being the 4th most popular 3D printer to own, logs in the most usage time on AstroPrint’s platform at over 25% of print time compared to others.
Number 2 on the list, the Printrbot Simple Metal, has half as much usage time at 12.7%. Another AirWolf printer, the AW3D HD2x rounds out the top three at 6.7%, just beating out the Flash Forge Creator Pro at 5.9%. We’re kind of surprised at that last number.
The Creator Pro is a very popular printer, yet users don’t seem to use it as much. We were surprised at that figure since the printer is so well liked. It could just be a quirk of the user base that uses AstroPrint with the Creator Pro or perhaps less experienced hobbyists are getting it and end up creating fewer projects.
Most Popular 3D Printing Slicers
Consumers on AstroPrint seem to choose Cura, from Ultimaker, as their 3D printing slicer of choice. Almost 88% of those printing on AstroPrint use the software. The rest of them use Slic3r. Of course, these are the two most popular free software options out there. We’d be interested to see how these numbers would change if it included other applications like Simplify3D or KISSlicer.
All in all, the data from AstroPrint is a good collection of fine 3D printers. We’ve reviewed quite a few of them and aren’t surprised at the ones that made the list. Although not all inclusive, it’s not a bad place to start if you’re wondering what 3D printer to buy. It’s also a good indication of where the industry is going, as certain brands start to dominate the consumer market. We’ll keep you updated if we see significant changes.